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T-Mobile prepped to offer unlimited, no contract plans -- and the iPhone

Mid-day T-Mobile event today expected to include many details of company's smartphone plans

T-Mobile USA hopes to rock the wireless industry today with detailed plans to sell the iPhone and other phones on an unsubsidized basis with no-contract, unlimited data plans.

The iPhone doesn't yet appear on T-Mobile's Web site, but a new Samsung Galaxy S II in White pops up as its first offering, selling for $413.99. The Galaxy S can be purchased for a $29.99 down payment and $16 per month for 24 months. The installment plan doesn't incur any interest.

Phone choices on the T-Mobile site include Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices, but not an Apple iPhone -- yet.

T-Mobile executives at a press event at International CES in January strongly suggested that the company would sell the iPhone unsubsidized with no contract. Some Web sites, citing unnamed officials, have confirmed that T-Mobile plans to indeed offer the iPhone.

In January, T-Mobile also announced an unlimited voice, text and data plan for $70 a month with no annual contract. That announcement didn't seem to resonate among phone users and the carrier posting the same press release from January on its site on Monday.

The T-Mobile website now lists details for two other plans for unlimited talk and text, but with high-speed data limited to either 500 MB for $50 a month or an added 2GB for $60 a month. There is no contract and no early termination fee.

The data plans support T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, which can average 20 Mbps. For the $50 and $60 a month plans, the data works at speeds up to 500 MB and 2.5 GB, respectively, and then are slowed to 2G speeds, which can often be only 300 Kbps, although T-Mobile doesn't specify that speed.

T-Mobile is also expected to discuss some information about its nationwide LTE at its event today. In February, the company confirmed that both Las Vegas and Kansas City had LTE built-out but their network was commercially available as of last week.

T-Mobile's event begins at 11:30 a.m. ET today. Computerworld plans full coverage.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile/wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.


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